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SVEN WEJSFELT

Sven Wejsfelt (Johansson) was born in 1930 in Lidkoping, Sweden and died 2009 in Gustavsberg, Sweden. He worked at the Rorstrand factory 1946 - 1953 and at Gustavsberg factory 1953 - 2008. He worked in a classic stoneware tradition with thinly thrown shapes and exquisite glazes. He was mostly influenced by Gunnar Nylund, Rorstrand and Berndt Friberg, Gustavsberg.

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Gunnar Nylund’s apprentice at Rorstrand

Sven Wejsfelt grew up in Lidkoping and was employed at the Rorstrand factory in Lidkoping in 1946. He was a talented drawer and started working as a porcelain painter, but he did not like it. After six months, he became a turner apprentice at the factory's Art Department under the Manager Julius Larsen. As a trained turner Wejsfelt mainly worked for Gunnar Nylund, whose series of stoneware called for a rapid and excessive production rate. The hundreds of identical shapes that were created in the young turner’s hands became effective and indelible form training. Wejsfelt did also throw for other Rorstrand artists such as Hertha Bengtsson, Marianne Westman and Carl Harry Stalhane . His first own objects were made during his breaks at work.

Moving to Gustavsberg and Stig Lindberg

In 1953, he was employed as a turner for Stig Lindberg at Gustavsberg. Here, he changed his last name to Wejsfelt since there already were four Sven Johansson at the factory. He performed most of the duties in the studio; throwing, molding, decorative work, ceramic ornaments, etc. Since Stig Lindberg was a busy man including teaching at the College of Arts, Sven Wejsfelt and eventually another turner, Dan Griffin , got the confidence to develop new products in the “Lindberg-style" and to sign Stig Lindberg's art . From the mid-1960s Wejsfelt actually signed most of Lindberg's unique pieces. Wejsfelt also developed many of the glazes that are associated with Lindberg's unique pieces.

Wejsfelt as an artist of his own

The cooperation with Lindberg lasted for 17 years, until 1970, when a crack occurred as the shapes of the dinnerware that later became Lindberg's blockbuster Birka was “stolen” from Wejsfelt. Then, Wejsfelt became the director of Gustavsberg Studio. In 1977 he became an artist in his own name, with collections of stoneware pottery and molded fish and animal figures. In 1987, he exhibited with some other artists in the exhibition Gustavsberg Studio. Wejsfelt’s typical expressions were cornflower blue glaze, hares fur glaze in different colors, bold oxblood and delicate blue and pale yellow glazes. Miniatures were his specialty.

Working until his death in 2009

In 2007, the Gallery Simply Modern in Copenhagen showed a retrospective exhibition of Wejsfelt’s work, starting from his first oxblood glazed vase from 1943 to his latest cornflower blue vase made in 2007. During his last year he stepped down, sold his glazes, closed the studio, but he continued to work at home with various art projects. He died of heart problems in March 17, 2009. Sven Wejsfelt is considered to be one of the last Swedish ceramists who developed and brought on the Chinese based stoneware tradition that flourished in Sweden during the 1930's and 60's. His stoneware is showed in several museum collections, including The Copper - Hewitt Museum in New York, the Ceramic Museum in Faenza, and in many individuals' collections. In October 2009, a retrospective memorial exhibition of Sven Wejsfelt opened at Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum.

Sven Wejsfelt signatures

Swen Wejsfelts pieces is signed with “SW” or “Swen”, the Gustavsberg studio hand and production year.

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